Lewie Shaw set to be Grand Marshall ... again!
He will be in uniform, one that he wore from 1943 until his discharge from the United States Marine Corps in 1946. The 2019 Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshall Corporal Lewie Shaw is excited to serve the Parade and be in uniform. He was scheduled to serve as Grand Marshall last year, but that parade had to be cancelled due to frigid temperatures.
A life-long Claremore area resident, except for his Marine Corps time, Lewie joined the Marines at age 18. “I was an orphan and didn’t always get to go to school, so I didn’t graduate high school,” Lewie said. Such was the case of many of his generation.
Lewie was the last of 12 children, his mother died at his birth. When he was 12 years old, he also lost his father. “I spent time with friends and older brothers and sisters,” he said.
Lewie’s service with the 4th Marine Division included battles of Tinian, Iwo Jima and Saipan, three battles that claimed so many Marine lives. Lewie was one of the lucky ones to survive. “I got a letter a couple of years ago, from the Marine Corps Commandant thanking me for my service in World War II,” Lewie said proudly. That letter means a lot to him.
On Saipan Lewie was wounded by phosphorous grenade shrapnel. “It really burned, and burned,” he smiled. “I never reported it because I really liked the outfit I was with, and if I went for treatment I would have been reassigned, so I just sucked it up and kept going.” That also meant no Purple Heart.
After he returned to the United States, he fell in love with Alice Crutchfield and married, stayed married until 2012 when Alice died. They had two sons, one Bill Shaw, a local esteemed attorney and district judge who has since passed. The other son Glen, has been his right hand. “I don’t know what I would do without him,” he said.
Lewie worked for 30 years for Everett Lumber Co., and then with Glen, in construction. “We built this house,” he said proudly. It may be a bachelor’s house, but it is very neat and clean. He has maintained his strength as well. “I can still do a one-arm pull-up,” he mentioned.
His family has a tradition of service. His older brother Clarence, died in World War I. Another brother, also named Clarence, served in World War II, and stayed in the Marines, when serving in Korea was killed in action. Many in his family have served, most in the Marines.
Lewie has taken part in many of the past Veterans Day parades, but this year he is the Grand Marshall. He will serve the parade well, be sure to welcome Lewie along the route.
The annual Veterans Day Parade, set for Monday, November 11, will be kicking off at 11:11 a.m. from the Expo Center. Leading the parade this year will be the traditional American Veterans Motorcycle Club.
There are wonderful viewing sites all down Will Rogers Blvd., until the parade’s culmination at the parking lot of First Baptist Church. An additional announcing position is going to be set up at Missouri and Will Rogers Blvd.
Prior to the parade is the annual Flag Retirement Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at the Expo Center Flagpole. Featuring the patriotic story of the United States Flag and its proper disposal when it is no longer in display condition, the event is an important way to teach children, and adults as well, about the importance of our flag.
Almost anyone can enter the parade, however a parade application must be filled out prior to the parade, with the deadline to be included being October 31. The application includes an area where the individual, float, or group will fill out to denote how they will be announced as they pass the announcement booth at NeMar Center. The application is available at Claremore’s Joe Ronnie Hooper Memorial VFW, JM Davis Gun Museum and MMS Payne Mortuary, as well as online at claremorevetsparade.com. The earlier the application is received, the earlier in the parade the entrant may be.
Groups such as the VFW, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans all have floats that Veterans are invited to participate with, and as usual the Claremore Veterans Center will have a host of their residents in the parade, both in vans and being pushed in wheelchairs. Volunteers are always welcome to help with their attendance.
After the parade, the VFW, DAV and American Legion will provide the free Veterans Luncheon, this year being hosted at the VFW. The hours of the luncheon are 12:15 to 2 p.m. or whenever the food is depleted. Every year the three Veterans organizations provide this luncheon to honor all Veterans. Veterans and their families are welcome to attend.
“We are expecting a huge turnout this year,” said parade committee chairman Wayne McCombs. Sponsored by MMS-Payne Funeral Homes the VFW, DAV and American Legion the parade is always well attended and much anticipated. Local school children are always on-hand waving their flags and cheering on the Veterans and other parade participants. Many people feel attending the parade and flag retirement ceremony is but one way they can honor the sacrifices that Veterans have made in order to keep us free.